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‘Beach reads’ for St. Albert women

LUISE'S PICKS – Luise Mendler-Johnson with the St. Albert Public Library has picked out some good books and new releases to read over the summer.

St. Albert women may be wondering what’s out there for interesting summer reading. The St. Albert Public Library has you covered.

Books are on many women’s packing lists for summer vacations and this season brings new releases to add to your reading list.

“The quintessential beach read is basically anything by Elin Hilderbrand,” says Luise Mendler-Johnson, a librarian at St. Albert Public Library. “She has a new title coming out in June and it’s called The Matchmaker.”

All of Hilderbrand’s fiction takes place on the island of Nantucket and deals with women’s life issues – love, death, family and friendship.

“If you can’t make it to a beach yourself, you can live vicariously through her novels,” says Mendler-Johnson. “You can practically smell the ocean and feel the sand on your toes when you read those (books).”

If you prefer the English countryside to sandy beaches, popular British author JoJo Moyes has a new release coming soon called One Plus One.

“She deals with women’s issues so (the books) are romantic and moving, but also thought-provoking and not too simplistic.”

Mendler-Johnson says Moyes’ Me Before You, about a single mother, was on the library’s bestseller list for a long time.

Mystery lovers who have not yet discovered Canadian author Louise Penny can dig into her series about Chief Inspector Gamache in the fictional Quebec town of Three Pines.

“Louise Penny is kind of our great mystery writer here in Canada,” Mendler-Johnson says. “She’s gotten quite a bit of international acclaim as well now.”

Mendler-Johnson says the town residents, who are the secondary characters in the stories, are all quite quirky and interesting, and Penny is a master of the cliffhanger.

The long-awaited tenth book in the series will be released in August and is titled The Long Way Home.

Canadian author Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee series offers a departure from the typical mystery protagonist. Ava Lee is a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant who specializes in recovering massive debts that aren’t likely to be recovered through traditional methods.

The Two Sisters of Borneo, the latest book in the series, hit shelves in February. Hamilton will be one of the author’s featured at STARfest, the St. Albert readers’ festival, later this year.

Mendler-Johnson says a current trend is stories like The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion with quirky, offbeat characters.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson has been on the library’s bestseller list for almost a year, and Mendler-Johnson says his new release The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden sounds like another quirky, offbeat kind of story.

Moms may want to dig into some non-fiction about parenting.

“There is a more serious parenting book out that I think deserves attention,” Mendler-Johnson says. “Who says a beach read needs to be fluffy?”

She recommends All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior.

“It has kind of a different approach to parenting books,” says Mendler-Johnson. “It looks at the effect of modern hyper-parenting on the parents rather than on the kids for a change.”

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.